Coach Zidane seeks ‘good relationship’ with Real Madrid players

Madrid, Jan 6 (IANS) New Real Madrid head coach French legend Zinedine Zidane has said “a coach has to be close to his players – that is the most important thing, a good relationship with them all”.

The Frenchman’s quest with Real Madrid will start next Saturday with a game against Deportivo La Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu. He was presented as the new coach on Monday to replace Rafael Benitez, reports Efe.

Zidane highlighted that maintaining good relations with the players represents the starting line from which he will lead the team, which includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, in a clear reference to the attacking nature of the team.

“Yes, I will play with the three attackers… that is the idea of course. To win everything, that is the objective for us. We have two trophies to play for and we will try to win them both by the end of the season,” Zidane said on Tuesday in a press conference.

“I worked with Mourinho, with Ancelotti and I also visited Guardiola. I learned a lot from all of them and I must implement my own style now. You cannot try to replicate what other coaches are doing,” he explained.

When asked if he wants to have a career like that of Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, Zidane said that he does not want to be compared to him, adding: “There is no need to draw comparisons between Guardiola and me.”

“I never compared myself to another player when I was active and I will not do that now that I am coaching.”

As for Welsh forward Gareth Bale, Zidane said “give Bale all the support so that he can keep playing well.”

The 43-year-old pointed out that his meeting with the players on the first day in the new job was important as well as simple, and admitted that they seemed happy after the first encounter.

“The important thing is to give the players confidence. There is a change in coach now, but you have to respect and recognise the work Benitez did.”

“He did a good job and I want to wish him luck for the future,” Zidane said about Rafael Benitez, who was fired by the club following a 2-2 draw against Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

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